Sunday, March 11, 2012

Can't get the orphans off my mind….

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. -- James 1:27

As you may know, it all started with Carla and Henry, and then Malcolm.

I became obsessed compelled by Reece's Rainbow and the beautiful special needs orphans who have really thrown me for a loop this Lent. I honestly don't think I will ever be the same, and that's a good thing. I will do whatever I can in my limited power to advocate for these sweet children in their urgent quest to find a forever family.

If you spend even a little bit of time on the RR website, you will get a feel for what these special needs orphans are enduring and the dark futures they face, and if you follow the blogs of the families who have brought their children home, you will witness how powerfully and quickly sacrificial love can transform their lives.

I completely understand if you need to skip the "orphan posts" that I will be compelled to write from time to time, but as for me, I am unable to turn away now.

A few of the children who are in desperate need (click the photos or names for more information):


Dear, sweet Brent. He has already been transferred to the institution*. Though he's been listed on Reece's Rainbow for three years, no family has come forward to take him home. He needs an earthly savior. Please pass his name and information around until someone realizes they can't live without him as their son. Because he sure as heck cannot live without them.


And then there is Heath. He is now ten years old, and in the three years since he was transferred from the baby house to the adult institution, he has not seen a book or a toy. His only crime for this imprisonment is that he has Down Syndrome.

And please consider Nicholas, a sweet and quiet boy who cries in his sleep:

And these lovely little girls, who need a home and a mommy before it's too late:



There's Lizzy, with a calm personality and hazel eyes; Masha, who captured countless hearts on this ABC News piece when she threw her arms around the reporter and questioned, "Mama?"; and poor, forlorn little Carina, who so needs a family to love her, as she is almost four years old and faces the institution soon.

All the children I've profiled above have what Reece's Rainbow calls "sizeable grants". Meaning, they have thousands in their individual adoption funds already, used to offset the cost of their adoptions. If money is an issue for a potential adoptive family, looking on the sizeable grants page could make all the difference. For example, Danila G. already has over $12,000 in her fund, Preston has $15,000 and Megan has almost $24,000!

I believe with all my heart that if you make the commitment, the money will come.

The biggest obstacle to getting these children home is not lack of funds (there are many creative ways for family and friends and even strangers to raise the money), but rather lack of exposure. People don't know these kids are out there. I didn't!

Fair warning: You may become addicted to RR. Ask my facebook friends. Working together, we were able to raise almost $3,000 for Oliver in eight days time last week, bumping him into "sizeable grants" -- when we started he had only $13! And remember Malcolm, whom Carla brought to our attention? His fund is up to almost $6,700! The work to raise funds for these kids is incredibly joyful.

Many on RR have Down Syndrome (the most loving children you will ever meet!), while others have HIV+ status, cleft lips/palates, cerebral palsy, dwarfish, etc. All with varying degrees of severity, and all of whom can be helped greatly by the American medical system.

I want to do more to help these children, but I'm still thinking of how to proceed. I know that I will profile one or two of them whenever I do a Quick Takes, and I also hope that you wonderful folks will help spread the word through social media. If you feel called, you could link this post (or the RR site) to your facebook, or tweet it out to your followers. If you are able to help financially, you can go to RR and donate to a child's fund (or a family's fund). I welcome any other thoughts and suggestions in the comment box.**

We are the Body of Christ and we are His hands and feet. Let's work like crazy to get these children noticed, and of course, please, please… PRAY for these little ones who are at the mercy of people like you and me!

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. -- Luke 18:16

*In some Eastern European regions, children spend their younger years at a "baby house" orphanage, but are transferred to an adult mental institution once they turn five -- whether or not they have cognitive delays. They will live the rest of their lives in conditions that I don't want to detail here.

**Kara had a great idea for helping these orphans on Pinterest! Check out what she is doing, here. Anyone with a Pinterest board can do the same. :)



  1. There is also a 15 year old in RR posted on my brothers site)who will be getting kicked out soon of the institution...she really needs a family right now.

  2. I went to the site when you mentioned it a few weeks ago. There are just so many children. If these children were in the west they might never have been born. I think you're doing a great job promoting their cause.

  3. More accurately I should say that at 16 she will not be able to be legally adopted. If she is going to be adopted at all, the family better act fast. Her name is Laurel.

    This is a good ting your doing here, Leila!

  4. I just know there are families out there that would take in these wonderful children if they just knew about them. It's up to us to pass the word and empty OUT Reese's Rainbow as fast as they take these wonderful little beings in!!


  5. There is a family who is racing against time to get a 15 (almost 16 - on May 8) year old boy out of an orphanage before he is released at 16. They have to do EVERYTHING - homestudy, INS, dossier, EVERYTHING - before this boy turns 16 and they just started last week. If they file everything before April 30th they will hold the boy until they get there this summer. He is in a special needs school/orphanage because he was born with amniotic band syndrome and the disability from that is fingers on each hand are deformed/missing. That is his only disability. He plays soccer, is a good student, learning English... And he desperately wants a family. This family stepped out in faith to rescue this GREAT kid. Right now there is a MATCHING FUND fundraiser going on for him. A donor is going to match all donations to his RR grant up to $2000. This goes until April 4th. Please help this family who hasn't had the time to fundraise or ask for help that many families have had. This boy NEEDS this family. His profile is

  6. What adorable children! I wish I could take them all home!

  7. Becky and Michele, I have been watching and praying for Laurel and Morton! They do deserve all our support and love. I was so thrilled when Morton found his family (and I am going to give a donation, which will be matched, yay), and I keep an eye out for when Laurel will find her family (she has over $7,000 in her fund!).

  8. Leila, this is an awesome post.

    I know exactly how you feel. Finding RR changed everything for me. My life will never be the same.

    Bless you for spreading the word.

  9. (and thank you for featuring Lizzy. I love that little girl!)

  10. I am "compelled" also. I have been trying to find new ways to get their info out there. I made a Pinterest board, knowing that mommies use that site and may see them. I have friends discerning, I have my husband on board with future adoption. RR is amazing. I love being able to help, even in small ways.

    Here's my board:

  11. Leila - Thank you for supporting the Morton family as they race to go get Sam!! My heart broke for Sam - I have boys just this age and I just can't imagine them with no future and no hope.

    Praying for Laurel as well!

  12. We are all praying for sweet Sam! Can't wait to see him home!

  13. Michelle, I will be donating for Morton today! I will also try to spread the word!

  14. Kara, fabulous idea about Pinterest! I added it to the bottom of this post. :)

  15. It's one of those things that now that I know these children exist, I cannot turn away. Even if I never adopt, they will forever be burned into my mind. We have spiritually and financially adopted Miles, who has a committed family now and we are so anxious to get him home. But it never stops when one is home:) Charlotte (Leila, you generously donated to her when I begged for help) is coming home this month in about a week!

  16. I am so glad that you are featuring these orphans. They need it! I have donated to Malcom and he is on my heart. We are in no way ready to pursue another adoption (with having adopted 2 kids in the last 2 years already). But, I will pray and donate to help these children come home!

  17. These children keep me up at night. I seriously cannot sleep at times. When I think of them never knowing a Mommy/Daddy, living in the conditions they do, and being alone still.... I wish there was more I could do.

  18. I have started my "pinning" rampage. My motto under each kid: "pray and donate!" :)

  19. Oh, how I wish that adoption was possible for me at this point. In the meantime, I will pray for these children to go home to mommies and daddies!!

  20. Loneliness is painful. When I was little I knew there was God and that I had a guardian angel. Do these children even have the faith to turn to? I wish I could reach out and hug them all.

  21. Dear Lelila,

    Hi! Remember me? This is Maria Therese from Facebook, but you can call me Maria. I heard about Reese's Rainbow from another Catholic friend and find myself checking out the website often. I would LOVE so much to adopt one of these children. I am not sure Hubby and I can afford traveling to another country though - we simply don't have the $$$$ (Hubby tells me this every day). Also right now we don't have the room (If I had the $$$ and thought it was possible, I would make roomn! We live in a very small condo and right now the 2nd small bedroom is filled with all the stuff I took from my Mom's house when we got married.). I will share with you though that my arms and heart ache to be a Mommy. I think of how much I want to be a Mommy every day. Like tonight I visited our neighbor next door who is a single Mama and her 4 year old son asked me to sing him a song before going to bed so I did. I kept thinking "I so wish I had my own kid to sing a song too, kiss goodnight, and tuck in every night". Every night for Lent I have been praying the rosary, Divine Mercy, and novena to St. Gianna Beretta Molla asking for a child! Reading about these children who want a Mommy and Daddy so bad breaks my heart! How I wish I could adopt them all! Trying to figure out a way!

    These precious children are all in my thoughts and prayers!


  22. Thank you, Maria! Remember, some of the children are almost fully funded (look at Megan, who has $24,000 for an adoptive family's use! I would look into it)! Money doesn't have to be an obstacle.

    Lena, I read on one family's site that the orphanage (in Ukraine) gave the family the children's baptismal certificates and a cross when they left! So, at least a good portion of these children have been baptized. :) And, many of the countries and regions allow adoption by single moms. :)

  23. Oh Leila,
    The little boy who cries in his sleep...And I found a family in LA who needs help adopting a brother and sister with cystic fibrosis (just like our kids). I donated and put a button up on my blog. Wish we could do it. Need private insurance. Thank you for publishing about RR. I'll never be the same.

  24. Beautiful, beautiful children. Adoption is something that we need to seriously discern... we're not in a place to do it right now, but someday, I hope.

  25. Bless your heart, mama! You've given my Lent that much more meaning.

  26. You may want to get in touch with Adéye Salem, who blogs at She's a tireless advocate for orphans with disabilities, especially Downs, and regularly profiles and helps fundraise for kids on RR. If you two linked forces, who knows how many of these innocent children could be saved.

  27. Leila... I'm going to keep saying it... I think you and your family need to adopt one of these children. I'm going to keep praying that you do! Can't stop me!

  28. I, too, am addicted to RR! I want to bring home one or two of these angels... My husband is open to adopting, but he's afraid if special needs. We're going to look into foster-adopting for now, but ultimately, I hope one day to tell of our own rescue mission to Eastern Europe. In the meantime, it's wonderful to be able to help out families that are on their journeys now. Small financial donations really add up! And prayer supports it all. Thanks for posting to your readers about RR.


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